Bengaluru: Even as Karnataka continued to mourn the death of 111-year-old Siddaganga Mutt seer Shivakumar Swamiji, politics over why prominent figures like Prime Minister Narendra Modi or members of the Gandhi family couldn’t be part of the spiritual leader’s final journey are being raised.
On Wednesday, Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parmeshwara took to Twitter to slam PM Modi for skipping the last rites of the seer. The Congress leader said that while the PM had time to attend celebrity weddings and meet movie stars, he chose to skip the last rites.
PM Modi attends celebrity weddings, meets movie stars but skips the funeral of our NaDedāDuva devaru, who dedicated his life to help the poor & the marginalised. Repeated requests to confer Bharat Ratna on him have gone in vain.— Dr. G Parameshwara (@DrParameshwara) January 23, 2019
Truly well-deserved recipient of Kotler Award 👏🏽
Later, clarifying his point, Parmeshwara said, “I am not saying where else the Prime Minister should have gone. I am not a small-minded person. Had the PM attended the event, it would have raised the level of his office”.
While a galaxy of dignitaries from across the political spectrum were seen sharing stage at the mutt where the mortal remains of the seer were kept for public viewing, the Union government was represented by ministers and Karnataka MPs DV Sadanand Gowda and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Prime Minister had tweeted his condolences on Monday after the seer’s death. On Tuesday, he attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi where he remembered the spiritual leader at the event. "He used to treat me like his son and bless me every time I visited Tumkuru," he said.
JD(S) state president AH Vishwanath also lashed out at Modi for not taking part in the seer's last journey. "Dr Shivakumar Swamiji is greater than PM Modi. He should have attended the funeral as mark of respect,” he said.
The BJP, in turn, slammed the Congress for politicising the issue. BJP spokesperson S Prakash from Bengaluru wondered why Rahul or Sonia weren't present either. “The Congress is indulging in cheap politics. It should instead focus on getting its MLA back,” he said. Congress legislator JN Ganesh, who was accused of attempting to murder his colleague Anand Singh late on Saturday night at the Eagleton resort, is reportedly absconding.
BJP MP from from Mysore-Kodagu Pratap Simha too took to Twitter and sought answers from Parmeshwara on the whereabouts of the Congress high command.